Sir Alex Ferguson will be relieved this week as he receives news that three players on the Manchester United injuries list will soon be returning to first team duty.
Englishmen Chris Smalling and Ashley Young have been back in training and are set to be included in the squad for United’s Premier League match against Stoke on Saturday, whereas defender Phil Jones is a fortnight away from match fitness.
Smalling has been unavailable for club and country since the final fixture of last season, where the English defender suffered a groin injury, and then broke his foot during pre-season to prolong his period on the sidelines.
Ashley Young picked up a knee injury against Fulham in August and has missed the Red Devils’ last eight games, as well as being unavailable for England’s qualifying matches against San Marino and Poland.
However, it is uncertain whether the player will start against Stoke, as winger Antonio Valencia returned to make a substitute appearance for United against Newcastle before the international break and could start against the Potters instead of Ashley Young.
Fellow Englishman Phil Jones, recovering from knee surgery, will not be available for the Stoke clash but is only a fortnight away from first team football, and is likely to be included in the United squad for an important meet with Arsenal on 3rd November.
Smalling and Jones’ return will ease Fergie’s defensive headaches who is without key defender Nemanja Vidic until January and has relied upon the same personel at the back for the majority of United’s games so far this season.
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